Boca Raton Summary Administration Lawyers
Probate is a lengthy and sometimes costly process during which a deceased’s estate is administered and divided among creditors and beneficiaries. Florida law allows for a summary administration, which simplifies the probate process and allows better efficiency for certain estates. Summary administration has many benefits, but it does not apply to all estates. Below, our Boca Raton summary administration lawyers explain further.
What Estates Are Eligible for Summary Administration in Boca Raton?
Under Florida law, summary administration is only appropriate if the assets within the estate do not exceed $75,000, or the individual has been deceased for two years or more. When a person has been deceased for more than two years, there is no limit on the assets in their estate.
Also under the law in Florida, creditors have only two years to bring a claim against the estate of a deceased individual. Once the two years have expired, creditors are barred from bringing any claims. It is for this reason that summary administration can be completed once a person has been deceased for two years. The probate court will not have to deal with Notices to Creditors and other formalities, as they do during a formal administration of an estate.
How Do Summary Administrations Differ From Formal Administrations?
There are many differences between summary administrations and formal administrations. Perhaps the biggest one is the amount of time it takes to administer an estate. A formal administration will take at least six months while a summary administration will take anywhere between one to two months. Summary administrations do not include many of the formalities as formal administrations, so they proceed much more quickly.
During formal administration, a personal representative must be appointed by the court. With a summary administration, there are typically no creditor claims against the estate and assets do not have to be administered. As such, the probate court can distribute the assets directly to the rightful beneficiaries.
As with any legal matter, the longer probate takes, the costlier the process becomes. Because summary administration has a shortened timeline, it is also usually much more affordable and less costly to the estate than formal administration. Additionally, the filing fees for summary administration are lower than those associated with a formal administration.
When Is Summary Administration Not the Right Choice?
When a person has been deceased for less than two years but their assets are valued at an amount that makes summary administration applicable, creditors still have two years to bring a claim against the estate. Petitioners in these cases can either file a Notice to Creditors that bars them from bringing claims, or they can file an affidavit stating they will be personally liable for any claim a creditor brings. As such, when a person has been deceased for less than two years but they have a significant amount of debt, a summary administration might not be the best vehicle to use.
Our Summary Administration Lawyers in Boca Raton Can Help You Make the Best Choice
Summary administrations have many benefits, but that does not mean they are right for everyone. At SAMUELS WOOD PLLC, our Boca Raton summary administration lawyer can advise on your case and help you determine which legal avenue is best for you. Call us now at 561-864-3371 to speak with one of our skilled attorneys or contact us online and learn more.